The Garden Guide

Book: London Parks and Gardens, 1907
Chapter: Chapter 4 Regent's Park

Acquisition by The Crown

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In the dim distance of Domesday it formed part of the manor of Tybourne. Later on the manor became Marylebone or Mary le Bourne, the Church of St. Mary by the Burn, the brook in question being the Tyburn. The manor in Domesday is described as part of the lands belonging to the Abbey of Barking in Essex. In the thirteenth century it was held by Robert de Vere, and passed by descent through his daughter to the Earls of Arundel. Later on the manor was divided, and a fourth share came to Henry V. as heir to the Earls of Derby. The greater part of the manor was bought by Thomas Hobson, and his son, who was Lord Mayor in 1544, exchanged it with Henry VIII. for some church lands elsewhere. So it became part of the royal hunting-ground, and the same enactment concerning the preservation of game applied to Marylebone Park, situated within the manor, as to Hyde Park. Queen Elizabeth leased part of the manor to a certain Edward Forset, and James I. sold him all the manor except the part known as Marylebone Park, now Regent's Park. It was again sold by the grandson of Edward Forset to John Holles, Duke of Newcastle, and passed to his daughter, who married Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, and through their daughter, who married the second Earl of Portland, to the Bentinck family. The Park has always remained Crown property, although it has frequently been let by the reigning sovereign. Charles I. granted it to Sir G. Strode and J. Wandesford as a payment of a debt of �2318 for arms and ammunition. It was sold by Cromwell with all the other royal lands, but after the Restoration it went back to its former holders till the debt was discharged, and after that to various other tenants. It was on the expiration of a lease to the Duke of Portland in 1811 that the laying out of the Park in its present form commenced.